Asian Drama and Shōjo Manga
Recently, when flicking through Netflix unsure what to watch, I found this whole corner of the website dedicated to Asian drama, and I haven’t looked back since!
Towards the end of 2018, I finished the show ‘Free Rein’ on Netflix and between then and the 3rd of January I really struggled with what to watch and usually spent my evenings reading. There’s too much choice sometimes on Netflix right?
I only watched half an episode though as it was all so strange at first. This is the first time I have ever watched a non-western television show. I also struggled to get used to the subtitles. However, I came back to it later that evening and finished it and I found that I really enjoyed it! I will be going back to this show at some point but I got a little sidetracked.
After watching this episode I posted a message on the Three Hallows book group’s facebook chat (you’ll see why when I announce February’s read on the 1st!) and it turns out one of my friends had more knowledge of Asian drama than I did and she suggested I watch K-Drama Hello My Twenties.
The first episode was really great! There was a lot of drama and it helped me get used to both the unique style of filming, plot and script that is used in Asian drama, and it got me used to reading the subtitles until it became second nature. But again I only managed one episode as the ending freaked me out a little as it went from heartwarming coming of age tale to creepy thriller.
But it did lead to some fantastic things, and that’s all thanks to the suggestions I got from Netflix after watching Hello My Twenties. On the 10th of January, I picked up one of Netflix’s suggestions for me and started watching the Japanese show Good Morning Call. And that is where my obsession with Asian drama really began.
Apparently, comedy romance and Shōjo manga adaptions are my thing, and now I have to question, where have they been all my life? How did I miss out on this whole wonderful world that has just opened up to me? Why did it take me so long to discover this!?
I love the characters. I love the plot. And I just loved immersing myself into a new cultural experience which comes with watching a non-western show. I learnt a lot about Japan through watching Good Morning Call, and I even tried out a recipe from the show! (Check out my Instagram post from the 21st of January @RacheLeanne06).
Nao is adorable and I really enjoyed watching her budding relationship with Uehara play out. It made me laugh, it broke my heart and I fell in love with this new found corner of Netflix straight away.
However, it didn’t end there. After reading a spoiler about what happens to Nao and Uehara in a future episode I decided I couldn’t handle watching it because this show got PAINFUL at times, it literally broke my heart I was so invested in the characters! (I did go back to it later though and braved out the sad parts, I am a wimp I know…). So I decided (at the time) to jump ship and try something else.
And I stumbled upon the GREATEST TV SHOW ON NETFLIX! (In my opinion anyway!). There was a bit of a false start before I got there though. I tried out an episode of Mischievious Kiss: Love in Tokyo. After watching Good Morning Call, these characters seemed a little young so I wasn’t as keen at first (but I am willing to try again at some point as I have heard from other people that they really enjoy it, so maybe I need to watch past one episode to find what they are talking about.)
However as mentioned earlier, the recommendations after watching this lead me to my new favourite TV Show.
As far as I know, this isn’t the first version of the show, it’s the latest Chinese remake in a string of adaptions of the manga Boys Over Flowers. But it is a remake that is very popular with the fans of that original show, so it already looked promising before I started with it. Remakes don’t usually go down well, so they must have done something right! There are 49 episodes to the series and it’s just a one-off, there are no current plans for any other series. Each episode is also around 45 minutes long, so that’s around 37 hours of heaven right there!
I started watching this show on the 14th of January and I am on episode 36 already. That’s 36 episodes in two weeks! I don’t think I have ever binged a show like I have Meteor Garden! I am actually having to painfully limit myself to one or two episodes a night now. One, to make them last longer. Two, I banned breakfast viewings as I couldn’t make myself stop watching another episode when I needed to get up. And Three, because they are so addictive I could rarely watch just one each time I tuned it and I AM RUNNING OUT!! Those cliffhangers had me eating up each episode and I still can’t wait each day to go to bed and find out what happens next.
I love everything about this show. Shancai, although she frustrates the hell out of me sometimes, is a great lead. Daoming Si is my favourite love interest EVER (please, where can I find my own Ah Si?!?!?!?!).
To be honest, the cast is fantastic in general! Every character is well-rounded and has interesting plots and the storyline, in general, is just really compelling! I actually sobbed over this show for a good three episodes! You always know when a show is good when it makes you ugly-cry 💔.
(Sneaky F4 GIF ❤️)
I am not sure what I am going to do once I run out of episodes. Part of me wants to re-watch it again already, this time with a lot less stress because I’ll know the outcome of the plotlines, but I also want to finish Good Morning Call, and try more shows out there. There are LOTS of Asian dramas on Netflix and I would like to experience more of this world. If you have any suggestions on which ones I should watch next, let me know!
Because I love this show much, I actually brought the Boys Over Flowers manga. This is the first manga I have ever read, and I am really enjoying it so far! I am reading it on my kindle which is a strange experience, as I have to tap the left of the screen to turn the page instead of the right. And I am still getting used to reading it all backwards (which squares do I look at first?! 😅) But I am really enjoying it! I discovered that it’s a Shōjo manga and I think I want to delve into this new genre a lot further. As a fan of YA, I am really looking forward to exploring this more. I don’t think I’ll ever be too old to read a bit of teen drama.
Once again I would love suggestions on Shōjo from anyone who has more knowledge of this than me, so let me know what I should read in the comments below.
Thanks for sticking with me for this long post, I just had to share this wonderful new discovery I just made! It has CHANGED MY WORLD!
Until Next Time,